The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

Cheapest Cable and Internet Packages

On most of the pages of this site, I had discussed where you can find the best cable and internet packages, but on this page, I will only focus on where you can find the cheapest.

There’s actually something of a trick in finding the cheapest cable and internet packages. At the end of the day, they won’t come together in a single bundle. The reason is that basic analog cable will always be the cheapest cable television that you can find, because the FCC requires that basic cable be made available. As a result, cable companies don’t make any money off of it, which means in turn that they don’t bundle it together as a part of any deals, whether together with high speed internet or together with any sort of phone service.

As a result, the first part of finding the cheapest cable package is simple: purchase basic cable. This cable is poorly advertised, largely because companies make no money off of it, and they will try to add “service fees” that sound mandatory but are actually optional. Nonetheless, they will need to sell it to you. It can have a number of names, from “basic cable” to “limited basic cable” to “basic basic cable”, but if it is costing more than $20, that isn’t it (around $30 in Canada).

Once you have purchased your basic cable, you will need to add your cable internet service on top of this. You can use your television cable company as your internet service provider if you wish, or you could another company, depending on which one will save you the most money. In this article, I will assume that you are seeking high speed internet, as there simply isn’t slow cable that runs over a cable (“high speed” is effectively meaningless now, as all DSL cable internet packages will be above what technically qualified as “high speed”).

So, let’s look at which company offers the cheapest cable and internet packages. Note that the following information may vary, depending on your area:

Comcast: Comcast cable internet advertises itself as a cheap cable internet provider, but be careful. Their basic level of cable internet costs $19.95 for the first six months, but you have to really dig to find the price after that. The answer? $42.95 to $60.95. Not only does the price almost triple, but they buried that information. Be careful with any company that would bury something like this up front.

Cox: Cox provides 3 MB per second high speed broadband internet service for $33.99 per month, with no tricks attached. They require you to purchase your modem and have installation up front, which costs $88.99 plus $19.99 for connections beyond the first. Still, it is cheaper than Comcast and these fees are not often revealed until it is too late. They get points for being upfront.

Time Warner Cable Package: Time Warner cable internet service is called “Road Runner Internet”. It costs $29.95 per month for the first year of service. After this, it is something of a mystery how much it costs, and you will need to contact them directly to find out the expense. They aren’t trying to trick you or anything; it is just that their basic internet costs are different depending on your area and postal code. Expect to pay between $40 and $50, but that is only an approximation.

Verizon: Verizon‘s primary internet is actually DSL, not cable. If you want cable internet, you will need to get their FiOS services. These cost $49.95 per month, so they are definitely not the cheapest on their own. However, Verizon’s prices drop precipitously depending on how many of their services you purchase. As a result, it could actually end up being cheapest if you also use Verizon as your phone service provider.

Charter Communications, Inc.: Charter communications is the best place to go if you want no nonsense, no small-print service. They provide what is called Charter Internet LITE (I’m not sure why it’s capitalized, but it doesn’t stand for anything). It only has 1 MB per second, so you won’t be able to watch streaming movies, but it only costs $19.95 per month. This isn’t a special deal and it won’t jump up in price.

There are many cable internet service providers that provide high-speed, digital cable to your home. Charter Communications is far and away the cheapest available provider for internet. For television, get basic cable. Together, you can have cable and internet for under $40 per month, which is quite a lot of savings.